Published On: July 20, 2022Categories: General

Professionals with a high level of education and training who work in laboratories include medical technologists and clinical laboratory scientists. They are accountable for carrying out detailed examinations to assist medical experts in diagnosing and treating ailments.

There is a distinction between these titles in certain respects.

Compared to their MLS, CLS, and MT colleagues, medical technicians are often responsible for less complicated tests and have lower educational requirements. This is even though they all do many of the same broad responsibilities.

These job titles often include doing the following types of tasks:

  • Collecting and preparing specimens of blood, tissue, and fluids for testing
  • Make sure that specimens & test samples are the same
  • Managing and maintaining a patient database
  • Utilizing microscopes to examine specimens, slides, and cultured organisms
  • Diagnostic procedures and problems that may arise with the apparatus

In May 2020, the United States had 335,500 working professionals in medical technology and clinical laboratory science. A combined average salary of $56,910 per year as of May 2021. As a rule, technologists bring in a more considerable income than technicians; hence, an MT or CLS will find themselves on the upper end of this age range. The highest 10 percent of the group earners include technicians and technologists who bring in at least $79,340 annually.

It is anticipated that between the years 2020 and 2030, the number of job vacancies in the United States for medical technologists and clinical laboratory scientists will increase by 11 percent, a pace higher than the national average for all professions is roughly 8 percent. There will be an increase of around 36,500 positions available for clinical laboratory scientists and medical technicians by 2030. In contrast to occupations in the technical field, becoming an MT or CLS often necessitates earning a bachelor’s degree.

Scope of practice of medical and clinical laboratory scientists

Scientists working in medical laboratories conduct intricate diagnostic procedures on patient samples using high-tech instruments such as microscopes. The information they uncover is vital for diagnosing and treating various medical diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and others. The monitoring and diagnosis of disease processes and the evaluation of the effect of treatment are all tasks performed closely by medical laboratory technicians, doctors, and other medical laboratory scientists.

The study of microbiology, chemistry, hematology, immunology, transfusion medicine, toxicology, and molecular diagnostics is included in the medical laboratory training programs curriculum.

Work environment

Scientists who specialize in medical labs may find employment in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, forensic or public health laboratories, pharmaceutical enterprises, biotechnology corporations, veterinary clinics, or research organizations.

Their working hours may differ from place to place, but laboratories generally are staffed around the clock, seven days a week. This provides the opportunity for schedule flexibility. However, analyzing test findings in the laboratory requires medical laboratory scientists to spend the bulk of their time moving about on their feet.